Woman Arrested For Not Returning Library Book

Are you kidding me? This is as stupid as when Edna Jester was arrested for not returning the neighbors football.

Shelly Koontz of Independence, Iowa was arrested and charged with 5th degree theft for failing to return the book, “The Freedom Writers Diary” to her local library. The library had tried several times to reach Ms. Koontz with no results. Phone calls, letters…even a certified letter failed to do the trick. They simply could not get this woman to return this valuable $13.95 book.

Wait a minute…$13.95? That’s right. That’s what landed Shelly in the slammer. As Jesup Police Chief Rick Deitrick put it. “Theft is theft, no matter what it is”. That’s right, Inspector Clouseau. If you are going to not return a book, you might have just as well stolen a Ferrari. It’s all the same in the eyes of the law.

How bored must the employees of the library and local law enforcement be to chase this kind of “crime” down? Seriously, aren’t there some kitty cats missing or a street sign that has been stolen? Librarians, couldn’t you re-stack the books or something with all of your free time?

Here is a photo of Shelly. I am posting it in case she tries to make a run for it. Hopefully, you will feel a little safer knowing what this devil looks like.


Yup. Just look at her…guilty as hell. How many other books do you think she has stolen in her life? She might have a whole library of her own in her basement. I am going to say that 6 months in the county jail would be a fair punishment.

I bet the taxpayers of Iowa are thrilled to death that they are going to have to pay the court costs for this major crime case. I also bet the Iowa CSI gang is hot on the trail of ink splatter stains on her hands. She’s going down.

Now, I am not a law enforcement specialist but it seems to me the correct punishment for not returning a book is that you have your library card revoked. Yes, you are out $13.95 but as a taxpayer funded entity, it is a hell of a lot cheaper than the cost of arresting, processing and then having any kind of court appearance for this type of offense.

I wonder what the punishment would be for stealing, say, a TV set in Independence? It would have to be at least a public hanging in the town square (flogging optional). I just love the American legal system. Last week, a murderer walks free because the cops screwed up his Miranda rights but at least they brought down the Book Stealing Bandit.


9 Responses to Woman Arrested For Not Returning Library Book

  1. elizabeth3hersh says:

    I have come to believe that for every theft you are arrested for, there must be dozens (if not hundreds) of other thefts whereby you have eluded arrest. Therefore, I don’t get as upset as TL when the po-po arrest petty criminals. Of course, there could also be some other creative way to encourage compliance: for instance, not being allowed to renew your drivers license or auto registration or the inability to procure a loan. Don’t we already use tactics like these for men who don’t pay child support or students who don’t repay student loans?

  2. Michael says:

    The Freedom Writers Diary is a book about a first year high school teacher who inherits a class of “unteachable” kids and turns their lives around, teaching them the values of hard work, courage and determination.

    I, for one, applaud the Iowa police for accurately profiling Ms. Koontz (if that is her real name) as the filth monger she is and putting her behind bars before she spreads that type of propaganda to the public at large.

  3. elizabeth3hersh says:

    For you still shaking your heads in disbelief, there is another way of looking at this: crime must be on a low enough scale to allow police resources for this type of offense. Makes me want to move to Independence Iowa (…of course they probably don’t have Neiman’s or Sak’s…). I currently live 15″ from the Las Vegas Strip and there has not been an officer in my neighborhood for the four years I have lived here (in spite of burglaries and auto thefts on my block alone). I used to live in an affluent enclave of Miami Beach (Bal Harbour) where the police force were bored silly. One night I came home and found a Palmetto bug (an Amazon sized winged roach common to Florida) whizzing around my bedroom. I called the Bal Harbour police who told me to “sit tight, were sending over TWO squad cars” and they did. The roach was subdued, I flirted with the cops and it was all good. See what I mean? What a world it would be if law enforcement was relegated to chasing down purloined books and cuffing roaches. Independence, Iowa is such a place.

    • tannerleah says:

      Liz – I don’t care if Barney Fife is in charge of the police force…it is an utter and complete waste of the taxpayers money. The correct answer is to fire some cops if you have too many. See what a better solution that is?

  4. elizabeth3hersh says:

    Maybe it would hve been different if it were a copy of ‘Steal This Book’ by Abbie Hoffman. I say “book her Dano”.

  5. jessekay says:

    She stole the book from Jesup when she lived there and now she resides in Independence where she got arrested. Yes that is her real name. She is a very filthy person who decided to borrow a book from the library. She is very well known in that town for very many talents. Obviously she is not a very good book crook. Yes it may have costed more taxpayer money than it did for the book itself, but she will be paying fines and restitution far more than the replacement cost of the book itself. So really that taxpayer money will be replaced 3 fold according to lawyers. A crime is a crime, and thats why she got 5th degree theft not 1st degree for stealing a book. She was so proud of what she did, she put cakey makeup on and kind of brushed her hair just to do an interview on the local news. I would be embarassed! I mean if you are going to go down for theft for a book, I would have left it as far as only my mugshot being on there, no interviews too on top of it. I bet her daughters are very proud too considering their pasts also. Family of thieves, ahh……

    • tannerleah says:

      jessekay – That’s a good point. If they fine her they could recover the money and I would feel much better about the whole thing. It sounds like this woman has a fairly checkered past.

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